Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Craft Iced Tea - Steven Smith Teamaker

All Portlanders tea-lovers are familiar with Steven Smith Teamaker teas. The little brick shop is in Northwest Portland but their artisan teas, both loose and bags, are packaged and sold in grocery stores all over Portland area. I was surprised to recently see that now they're making iced tea blends as well. I tried out this flavor - Black Cap berries blended with brewed black tea. Delicious!

You can find Steven Smith Teamaker fine teas in Portland's groceries stores or at the original shop on NW Thurman & NW 17th, next door to Olympic Provisions's northwest outpost. Here is the website: http://www.smithtea.com/

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mid Century Modern Homes in Portland West Hills

In May, my niece and I went on a special tour of midcentury modern homes in Portland's West Hills all designed by architect, Saul Zaik, in the 50's and 60's.

Such a delight to be able to walk though these special architectural beauties and enjoy the views of Portland from the West Hills. The architect also designed Timberline Lodge and the Vista House at Crown Point!

I love the clean, minimal lines of midcentury modern homes and these six were all gems.

Love the connection of the outside landscape and the interiors. There were views of trees and sky from nearly every window!

We even got to tour Saul Zaik's home and he was there chatting with visitors! (Gray hair and black specs.)

I love the open vaulted wood ceilings and minimal use of interior walls and doors!

When you have views like this, why would you even need any artwork? But in fact, we also admired the abstract contemporary paintings in several homes as well.

Notice how the window view of tree tops looks just like a painting in this room!

My niece and I also noticed the built-in bookshelves and desks, and "floating" cabinets and buffets! Many built-in cabinets were attached to the walls but not the floors. He made use of every nook and cranny! So smart! Why aren't we still designing these into more homes?

Again, I was taken by the integration of natural landscape and the interior living spaces. Views of trees everywhere!

Lots of interesting lights and skylights too...

Beautiful landscape in this turnaround driveway. These homes didn't look too impressive from the outside, but the interiors were so cool! Understated.

One home had a small architectural model of the original design on display. And the following photo is from the actual left side of the house.

And I'll end with my favorite photo from one of the decks. The view goes on forever!

The tour was sponsored by the Historic Preservation League of Oregon.
If you would like to read more about the architect, Saul Zaik, and some of the articles about the house tour, here are some links:

Saul Zaik bio from Portland Modern: http://www.portlandmodern.com/features/zaik/zaik.html

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Growing Beauty

When I was in Portland this spring, I was amazed by the proliferation of early blooms. Everywhere I walked I saw the most amazing flowers and plants. This rhododendron bush was huge!

All that Oregon rain and mild temps produce an early spring with blooming shrubs, perennial flowers, and lots of green. Love it!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Salt & Straw Ice Cream Frenzy

Up the street from us is the locally famous gourmet ice cream shop, Salt & Straw. Since it opened earlier this year, I have watched the never-ending line out the door and around the block as I walk past. Portland people are going crazy for Salt & Straw! Even though it's local, this is a "destination" ice cream shop - people from all over the Portland area come to brave the line to get a taste.

I've only braved the long line one time with visiting friends. This is the list of flavors which changes seasonally. The staff cheerfully passes out samples for you to try before ordering. The ice cream IS good - full-fat, flavorful, creamy, and rich. Between the calories I don't need and the wait in line (it took us 45 minutes!) I won't be visiting often.

The good news is that a new location for Salt & Straw just opened up in Southeast Portland. That will help shorten our Northwest lines.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Artistic Vegetables

Love grocery stores that spend time making sure the produce is fresh and displayed well.

Portland has the greatest grocery stores. Amazingly fresh produce, great meat and fish counters, tempting gourmet cheese sections and fabulous bakeries.

This "artwork" is provided courtesy of New Seasons Market, Portland, Oregon.